Thursday 16 December 2010

Mecmesin's run of new force testers

Mecmesin continues to innovate and create new products in the world of force and torque measurement.

Take a look at some of the products just launched or coming soon to help you make the most of your quality control testing.


A production floor force tester controlled via a touch screen interface.
The challenge was to produce a force tester that could be used by production floor staff with minimal training, yet still offer the versatility of enabling more in-depth evaluation and programming capability.

MultiTest 50-i

A big move for Mecmesin's force measurement capabilities. The MultiTest 50-i is a computer-controlled force test system capable of measuring up to 50kN, offering full programmable control to the operator and comprehensive test evaluation tools.


Used by health practitioners and sports personnel to measure isometric muscle strength, this small instrument is a useful tool in determining recovery from injury, effects of training or discovery of illness utilising the constant score method of muscular strength evaluation.

We look forward to your comments and suggestions. Use the box below and we'll get in touch as soon as possible!

Thursday 2 December 2010

5 key points of compression testing

Compression testing can be a critically important product quality indicator, so knowing a bit more about what it is could be very useful.

Our feature article, represented within the US Quality magazine, helps unravel the confusion surrounding compression measurement and provides some key points to help anyone get to grips with the topic.

Find out...

  • What a compression test is
  • The types of compression test - flexure or bend test, spring test, top-load or crush test
  • The theory behind compression measurement, including Hooke's Law and Young's Modulus
  • What to consider before making a compression test
  • How a typical compression test is performed

  • Read the full article now

    I hope it you enjoy reading it.

    I'd be happy to hear any comments or answer any queries you have. Please use the comments box below.

    Monday 15 November 2010

    Young at heart…

    When I was at school we were nervously revising for the end of year exams. We were trying to spot which questions might come up, and for Physics we were a bit worried that it might concern Young’s Modulus. In case you didn’t know, Young’s Modulus is a ratio often used to characterise materials. It gives an indication of the stiffness of a material. More specifically, it relates to the inherent properties of the material. For the first time it allowed engineers to calculate the strain in a component for an applied stress. Before Young had devised his modulus, engineers had to apply Hooke’s law, or F = kx, where F is the force, x is the deformation and k is a constant dependant upon the material of the body and its shape. Using Hooke’s formula you had to do some tests on any new component to account for properties of the material and the shape of the item. However, Young’s modulus is independent of the shape, so you can use it for any new component made of the same material.

    Young’s modulus holds true for a material within the range in which Hook’s law applies – where extension is proportional to load - within the elastic limit. Beyond that, well, things change a bit.

    At school in the physics lab we had a “Young’s Modulus” experiment set up. This was a thin wire going up over some pulleys fixed to the ceiling and running down to an attachment where you could load on weights to apply stress. While ‘Teacher’ was occupied in the prep-room, someone in the class had discovered that if you plucked the thin wire like a single-stringed double-bass, it made a most amusing “doing” sound. Even better, if you put your foot on the loading attachment, you could alter the pitch of the “doinging” note by pressing down. An impromptu rendition of The Doors - “Come on baby light my fire” - was transposed into - “Come on baby twang my wire”. As I said, Hooke’s law applies within limits. Too much right foot and the amusing “doing” became “BOING” as the wire broke.

    So part of the reason for our nervousness about the Physics exam was the possibility that question number one would be “Who broke the Young’s Modulus apparatus?....... "

    Would you like to know more about Young’s’ Modulus, yield points and elastic limits and how to measure them? Then call Mecmesin. I promise we don’t have music ‘on hold’.

    Wednesday 3 November 2010

    Keeping a Constant Score on Muscle Strength?

    Break a Leg! No seriously, please do. The reputation of our Myometer product is staked upon people breaking bones!

    Well, maybe not just fractures, but it can often be used in these situations, and a lot more besides. In short, the Myometer is a pull gauge, which measures isometric muscle strength, whether it’s your arm or leg, helping health professionals determine your general physical well-being, recuperation after injury or excessive training.

    Imagine you go to the hospital having broken your leg. Maybe it was a freak skiing accident as you were winding your way down the slopes of Chamonix, and couldn’t quite get the angle right to make your turn, but were in perfect line for the tree ahead of you!

    As the doctor performs an examination, he must obtain enough information in order to form a qualified assessment of the injury and estimate the time needed for recovery. Data from the Myometer provides a low cost, yet precise method of determining physical functional disability for upper and lower limbs. It enables health professionals to evaluate the progression of disease, provide information on the success of treatment intervention or evaluate the result of a sports persons training regime on their health. A long distance runner, for example, puts their muscles under constant high levels of strain. As part of their physio, their therapist/trainer will use a Myometer to quantify the effects of training and compare results on a daily, weekly basis, if necessary to adjust it accordingly.

    As you lie in bed contemplating where it all went wrong, your doctor suddenly appears to perform yet another examination. However, this one is surprisingly swift and thankfully requires very little effort on your part. With a lovely warm bedside manner, the doctor attaches a strap from the Myometer gauge to your leg, in this case, just above the knee. With the Myometer gripped securely to a stationary object, such as a table, you try to move your leg outward against the resistance of the strap. This enables him to measure your isometric muscle strength (a static measurement as there is no actual movement). The change in measurement over time provides him with a good indication of your recovery and regained strength.

    If this had affected your arm instead of your shoulder, you may have heard your practitioner mumbling something about the Constant Score. And no, that was not something in reference to Ronaldo’s ability to constantly score goals. It refers to a special technique used to assess the general performance of your shoulder when tested in a similar manner as before. The Myometer is able to automatically provide data for the Constant Score to make it even easier to evaluate a patient’s recovery.

    With measurements taken at regular intervals, it isn’t long before your doctor discharges you, you’re back on your feet and able to tackle that heavy workload left for you…while wishing you were back on those ski slopes!

    If you would like to comment or have a query concerning the Myometer, please leave a comment in the box below. Thank you.

    Thursday 26 August 2010

    Full Of Hot Air! Testing balloon fabric to ensure a safe flight

    It was a lovely midsummer’s evening when I decided to brave it and take a ride in a hot air balloon. It was a challenge I had set myself to see how well I would cope, given my fear of heights, plus it offered the added benefit of gaining a bird’s eye view of the South Downs National Park.

    Seeing the balloon laid out in a park near the coastal city of Brighton, several minutes passed before enough hot air had been pumped into the ‘envelope’ to move the basket into an upright position. This enabled myself and the other passengers to negotiate the small slots on the side and eventually clamber into one of four spaces located around the central compartment, from where our pilot would control the flight!

    With the basket fully loaded, we took off and before you knew it everything from people to vehicles seemed like tiny specks on the landscape. Initially weary of looking straight down, I decided to get to know the other travellers. The cosiness of each compartment certainly called for being on first name terms with my fellow ‘high fliers’.

    Between the blasts of hot air from the burner, there was a real sense of tranquillity as we passed over fields, vineyards and a few very nice houses with swimming pools! We crossed close to a golfing green. Though it was tempting to shout ‘fore’ to see the reaction, I thought better of it when I considered we were within striking distance of a well placed shot!

    Then, I thought about the balloon manufacturer, Ultramagic, who, without the additional antics of passengers, must ensure the hot air balloon is up to the task of launching people to the skies and keeping them there safely. Ultramagic, are the second largest hot air balloon manufacturer in the world. To guarantee the quality of their balloon cloth material, it must undergo stringent tensile and tear tests to quantify its strength and life expectancy. Fixtures are also subjected to quality checks to ensure they are able to withstand the forces placed upon them.

    Thankfully, the only safety hazard we encountered was clipping some trees as we made our descent, and landing with a positive, if somewhat abrupt, thump, ensuring we were still wide awake!

    Similar test principles hold true for parachutes. If you can imagine a skydiver in freefall, plunging to the earth at a frightening velocity, the importance of the parachute opening and smoothly gliding the skydiver back to earth safely is critical. The same tests, described above, can be applied here too, enabling the manufacturer to determine the material’s strength tolerance.

    Needless to say I am not ready to test that one out in the field just yet, but pleased with my last achievement, it may end up on the list!

    If you have any comments or questions about textile testing, please use the comments area shown. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Friday 9 July 2010

    Touched by your presence dear...

    I am always touched by your presence dear…

    We’ve all seen them in the newspapers, the smiling fools who followed the satnav and got the lorry stuck under a bridge or drove the car up a railway line “cos that what the screen said…”. Well I came within an inch (actually about 50 metres) of joining this august group.

    We were going to see a concert at the London O2 arena - that’s the large venue that started out life as the Millennium Dome, but now stages concerts and all sorts of spectacular events. We had decided to drive into London, doing a bit of sight-seeing on the way in, and to park at the O2 itself. I had programmed the Satnav for the arena, but there is still quite a lot of building going on in the area, and the road layout had changed. Anyway, I was following the touch-screen satnav, hopefully to one of the large car parks surrounding the dome, and the satnav was struggling to make sense of our position with its internal map that was a bit out of date. I thought that the road surface was a bit poor, but I kept following the satnav’s instructions anyway. We came to a small rise, a bit like a hump-back bridge, and just as we reached the top, there was the river Thames about 50 metres away with nothing to stop me from seeing if Toyotas can float.

    After a sharp intake of breath and an even sharper application of the brakes, I glared at the satnav and poked its touch screen with rather more force than is strictly necessary. After a bit of tactical reversing and contemplation, I did think about that touch screen, and how hard a poke is too hard.

    The manufacturers of these screens need to answer the same question so they can design and make them sensitive enough to use, but resilient to the kind of abuse from positionally challenged motorists. Well, I had to reflect on the irony of the situation. Mecmesin have sold systems for exactly that job to the manufacturers of touch screens. Talk about being “hoist with my own petard”, or rather having to replace the satnav because I can’t use my brain when driving. Fortunately, the touch screen manufacturer had allowed a good margin for “exceptional actuation” of the screen.

    All’s well that ends well, the satnav is fine, and I avoided making an unscheduled appearance in the Thames or the newspapers, and determined to engage my brain before first gear…

    Monday 28 June 2010

    Centre Court, Strawberries & Scragging

    It’s the time of year for that quintessentially English event, The Lawn Tennis Championship Meeting held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Or to use a rather shorter but perhaps better known description, - Wimbledon fortnight...

    The word fortnight refers to the competition that is relayed around the world by television and radio, famed for tennis, strawberries and Pimm’s – (that’s the drink traditionally served with what looks like a sliced fruit salad in a glass.) But for the Wimbledon staff, the “fortnight” is actually a year long job.

    Monday 21 June 2010

    Have I got Newton for you…

    I don’t know about you, but when I have been to a school reunion, I have always been a bit defensive. I mean, its not exactly a boost to your ego to find out that the "spotty lad" who was in your class is now an eminent surgeon, or a successful author or has been honoured with an OBE. Consider for a minute what a reunion of the class of 1650 at the King’s School Grantham could have been like if the "lad" turned out to be a boy named Isaac Newton. The list of his accomplishments would make anyone feel a bit of an underachiever. Forget about being head prefect, Newton was:

    • A fellow of Trinity College Cambridge
    • A member of the Royal Society
    • Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
    • Member of Parliament
    • Warden of the Royal Mint
    • Knighted by Queen Anne